Birth Story: My Natural Delivery
This is the story of how my sweet Raleigh Corinne came into the world. Be sure to read about how my first baby, Rowan Harper was born.
If you read Rowan’s birth story, you’d know I desperately wanted a natural water birth, and I didn’t get that with her because I was induced at 42 weeks. Everyone told me my second one would come sooner and I wouldn’t be going overdue with my second. They were all wrong! I’ll be honest. I didn’t mind being pregnant that long; I was really busy chasing my toddler around. But I was terrified of of having a similar experience that I had with Rowan. I’m talking about a brutal medical induction.
As I once again watched my due date come and go, I realized this must be a Tess trend. This must be something with me. I started believing that I was broken- that my body just didn’t have whatever hormone started labor.
At 41 weeks (on a Wednesday) I had a non-stress test. This is something they do when you’re overdue to monitor the baby’s movements and heart rate. At this appointment my midwife was going to strip my membranes. This is a procedure that is often done as a gentler means to induce labor. And I was willing to do anything to avoid another induction. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have it done because my cervix wasn’t dilated enough.
Thursday passed. No baby.
Ok, But Like… Is this Labor?
Friday at 1am, I got up to use the bathroom and I lost my mucus plug. At 3 am my toddler came and crawled into bed with me, so I wasn’t sleeping very soundly. At 4am contractions started. They weren’t very strong and they weren’t regular. But I was excited to be having them. I had another appointment at 1:30pm for another non-stress test and an ultrasound to check my placenta for calcification. At this point I was dilated enough to have my midwife strop my membranes. Yay! Going throughout the day contractions were intensifying, but they weren’t getting to become very regular. They were about 12 minutes apart on average lasting for a minute.
Things started getting more intense around 9pm. I called my mom to come watch my two year old, because I was thinking Nick and I would be going to the hospital soon. We left for the hospital at about 12:30am. And we arrived at about 1:15am. We had to wait for someone to transport us up to labor and delivery, and then we had to wait for someone to mop the floor of the delivery room. We got into the room at about 1:45, I’d say.
They had me leave a urine sample and change into a gown. The nurse began asking me questions to admit me to the hospital. The doctor came and checked my cervix. I was at 4cm. This was a little discouraging, as my contractions were pretty intense. But my nurses supported my goals for a natural delivery. They called my midwife to come for my delivery.
Suddenly my contractions got so intense I had to vocalize to get through them. And I felt the urge to pee, and I didn’t want to go to the bathroom, so I thought to myself “Whatever, I’ll just pee. No shame.” Well- It wasn’t pee. My water broke!
The doctor came back and checked my cervix again, and I was complete! They actually called my midwife back and told her not to come because she wouldn’t make it in time.
About ten people came into the room to facilitate this delivery. I was doing it! I was having the perfect, wonderful, natural delivery I was dreaming of and yearning for. As intense as they were, I enjoyed being able to feel these sensations that brought my daughter into the world. I longed for this confirmation that my body could do this, and the validation of my strength.
Guys- 28 minutes after hearing I was 4cm, Raleigh was in my arms. All of that happened so quickly! It’s no secret I wanted a water birth, but the nurse didn’t even get through all of my admittance paperwork before I had a baby. I didn’t have time to go the tub! I didn’t even have time to get an IV (which is good because I didn’t want one!) But I wouldn’t have changed a thing about this delivery. I needed this experience to heal after Rowan’s birth to overcome some of that birth trauma. At 2:33am, my lovely 9lb 3oz and 21″ long baby girl was in my arms. And for the first time I got to enjoy that golden hour of skin to skin. She nursed immediately, and we have had a great nursing relationship since!
Looking Back and Looking On
My husband and I have two sweet girls now. And If my next delivery can be like Raleigh’s I would absolutely want another. I always saw us having 3 kids. He says he’s VERY content with the two wonderful girls we have. So we’ll see if we add another to our tribe or not.
But guys. If you want to have a natural delivery, you CAN do it! It’s such a brief moment of being uncomfortable for a lifetime of feeling strong and empowered. I’m proud of myself for how I handled Rowan’s birth, and I’m proud of myself for how I handled Raleigh’s birth. However you decide to have a baby, even if it’s not a decision you make, you ARE strong, and you should be proud.